Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes in enough water.
Heat oil in pan and add the mustard seeds, fry till they crackle. Add bay leaf and fry for one minute.
Add the onions and fry till they turn translucent.
Add the all the chopped vegetables and fry for another 2 minutes. At this stage add the yogurt.
Saute the veggies for 3 to 4 minutes stirring often. In the meanwhile heat 2.5 cups water and bring it to a boil in a different pan.
Add the red chili powder, goda masala, asafoetida, salt to the sauted veggies. Stir and saute for a minute, add the rice and saute for another minute or so. Now add the hot water.
Cover the pan and simmer the rice on a low flame till the grains are softened and cooked well. I use the rice cooker to cook it and at this point forget about it. If you are using an open pan method, keep checking on the rice. If you are using a pressure cooker, switch it off after one whistle.
In a small pan, roast the cashews in one tsp of ghee till golden brown.
Garnish with coconut and cashews before serving with hot tomato saar.